How to Create a 60s Retro Flyer Design


Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial, we celebrate 50 years of the moon landing by creating a retro flyer design. You’ll learn multiple tools that you can apply to your next design project.

20 July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon. NASA’s Apollo 11 was led by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. To commemorate NASA’s achievement, we created this retro event flyer design. 

During the 1960s, modernist Swiss graphic design was at its peak. Crisp, minimalist layouts and the heavy use of Helvetica overtook the design world. If you’d like to find some more inspiration, check the work of Armin Hofmann and Josef Müller-Brockmann, both pioneers of the style. 

In this tutorial, we’ll use grids to create an organized system that will help display information neatly on the retro event flyer design. Our sans serif font of choice is Bw Nista Grotesk—a great alternative to Helvetica! 

In a hurry? We’ve got amazing Photoshop flyer templates and retro flyer templates over at Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. Go check them out! 

What You Will Need for Your InDesign Portfolio Template

You’ll need access to Adobe Photoshop; if you don’t have the software, you can download a trial from the Adobe website. You’ll also need these assets:

Download the assets and make sure the font is installed on your system before starting. When you are ready, we can dive in! 

1. How to Set Up an Event Flyer in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

In Adobe Photoshop, go to File > New. Under the Print option, select the A4 flyer size. Name the document Event Flyer Design and make sure you have the following settings:

  • Width to 21 cm
  • Height to 29.7 cm 
  • Orientation to Portrait
  • Units to Centimeters
  • Resolution to 300 Pixels/Inch

If you’ll be printing this flyer, set the Color Mode to CMYK. If you’ll be using this only for digital distribution, set it to RGB. 

Click Create.

create a new file for your event flyer in adobe photoshop

Step 2

Head over to View > New Guide Layout. In the New Guide Layout option window, use the following settings:

  • Columns Number: 8
  • Columns Gutter: 0.5 cm
  • Rows Number: 7
  • Rows Gutter: 0.5
  • Set all Margins: 1.27 cm

Click OK.

You can Hide and Show the guides by pressing Command-;. 

create guides on your retro flyer

2. How to Duplicate Layers Across Different Files in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

Open The Moon image separately in Adobe Photoshop.

Using the Crop Tool (C) from the toolbar, crop the image to a 1:1 ratio. Select the ratio by going to the Option bar.

open the moon file and crop the image

Step 2

Duplicate the layer by going to the Layers panel and right-clicking on the layer. Select Duplicate Layer. 

In the Duplicate Layer options window, set the name As: to Moon. Set the Destination to Event Flyer Design. Click OK.

duplicate the layer onto the event flyer file

Step 3

In the Event Flyer Design file, select the Moon layer and press Command-T to Transform. 

Head over to the Options bar and set the Width and Height to 20%. 

Invert the Moon layer by pressing Command-I while selecting it. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

resize and invert the moon image

Step 4

On the Layers panel, select Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Levels. 

Right-click on the Levels adjustment layer and select Create Clipping Mask. 

On the Levels Properties panel, set the Shadows to 60 and the Highlights to 255. 

add a levels adjustment layer

3. How to Create Shapes in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

On the Toolbar, select the Ellipse Tool (U). Draw an ellipse by clicking on the document and then pressing Option-Shift to help you draw a circle that starts at the center and expands proportionally. Try to achieve the same size as the moon. 

Offset the ellipse to the moon, making sure both are overlapping. 

create an ellipse

Step 2

On the Properties panel, under Shape Details, set the Fill Shape Color to #bb4636

On the Layers panel, move the Ellipse under the Moon layer.

set the fill color of the ellipse to red

Step 3

Duplicate the Ellipse by pressing Command-J. On the Properties panel, change the color of this duplicate to #199892.

duplicate the ellipse and set the color to teal

Step 4

On the Layers panel, add a Layer Mask to the duplicated ellipse layer.

Select the Layer Mask. Select the Brush Tool (B) and right-click on the document. Set the Size to 900 px and the Hardness to 0. Set the Foreground color to Black. 

Brush diagonally over half of the ellipse to achieve a gradient like the one in the image below. 

create a gradient on the second ellipse

Step 5

On the Layers panel, select  Add New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Solid Color. Set the Color to #daddd0 and click OK. Place the Color Fill layer under all the layers as a background. 

add a solid color adjustment layer

4. How to Use the Text Tool in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

Select the Text Tool (T) from the toolbar. Create two separate text frames and include the letters “M” and “N”. On the Properties panel, use the following settings:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Extra Bold
  • Size to 192 pt 
  • Color to #bb4636

Place the “M” before the moon and ellipse and the “N” after them to form the word MOON. Use the margin guides we created at the beginning of this tutorial to place the two letters inside the guides. 

use the text tool to complete the word MOON

Step 2

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text frame and include “1969”. Use the following settings on the Properties panel:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Extra Bold
  • Size to 130 pt 
  • Tracking: -100
  • Color to #199892

On the Layers panel, set the Blending Mode to Color Burn. Place the numbers overlapping the word ‘MOON’ and align it to the left margin.

add a text layer to include the year 1969

Step 3

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text frame and include “Apollo 11”. Use the following settings on the Properties panel:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Extra Bold
  • Size to 108pt 
  • Tracking: -25
  • Color to #e5b943

On the Layers panel, set the Blending Mode to Multiply. Place the word overlapping the numbers and use the margins to center the word to the retro flyer design.

add another layer to add APOLLO 11

Select all the layers we’ve created so far and group them by clicking on the folder icon on the Layers panel. 

Select the Group 1 folder and press Command-/ to lock the folder. 

Group the layers created

Step 4

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text frame in the top left corner of the retro flyer design. Here, we’ll add the number “50” but with each digit on a separate layer. Additionally, add ‘th’ on a separate layer. Use the following settings:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Extra Bold
  • Size to 35 pt 
  • Purple: #ad2b7a
  • Orange: #bb4636

On the Layers panel, set the Blending Mode for ‘5’ to Multiply. 

For the ordinal suffix, select the Superscript button on the Characters panel. And use the color yellow, #c4a037.

add a text layer to include 50th

Step 5

Using the Text Tool (T), create a text frame in the second column and at the top of the retro flyer design. Here, include “Anniversary of the Moon Landing” on two lines. Use the following settings:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Extra Bold
  • Size to 35 pt
  • Set the Color to Black
create a new layer to include anniversary of the moon landing and place it on the second column

Step 6

Select the Line Tool (U) from the toolbar. Draw a line under the title of the flyer design, making sure it extends from the left guide margin to the right. 

Head over to the Options bar, and use the following settings:

  • Fill Color: Black
  • Height: 5 px
add a stroke line from margin to margin

Step 7

Using the Text Tool (T), create text frames to include details of the event. Place each detail in columns 3, 5, and 7. Align all the details to the second last row. This will help give structure to the layout. Use the following settings:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Extra Bold
  • Size to 10 pt
  • Set the Color to Black
add details on a separate text layer and use the grids to place each detail

Step 8

Duplicate the stroke from the top by pressing Option and dragging down. Place two strokes over and under the details we included in the step before. Use the guides to help you place the elements. In this section, I decided to place the bottom stroke on the first of the last gutter lines. I’ll save the last row to include historical information about the event. 

add strokes over and under the details

Step 9

Create a text frame that starts in column 3 and extends to the right side margin guide. I added historical information about the event and used the following settings:

  • Font: Bw Nista Grotesk
  • Font Family: Regular
  • Size to 9 pt
  • Set the Color to Black
add a text layer to include historical information on the flyer design

Step 10

Duplicate one of the stroke elements by pressing Option and dragging down.

While selecting the stroke layer on the Layers panel, head over to the Options bar. Set the Height to 20 px. This will help add visual definition to the flyer design. 

add a stroke on the bottom margin and set the height to 20 px

5. How to Export a File for Online Sharing

Step 1

To export the file, go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy).

save the retro flyer design for web

Step 2

On the bottom right, set the Image Size to the one that you need. In my case, the website I need to share images to works at 850 px. I’ll set the Width to 850 and make sure the chain icon is activated to resize the image proportionally.

Click Save … and choose the location of your file. Click Save. 

choose the location to save your retro flyer design

Great Job! You’ve Finished Your Event Flyer!

In this tutorial, we showed how to make an event flyer dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. We covered essential tools that you can use on your next flyer design project. Today, we learned to:

  • set up a flyer design file in Adobe Photoshop
  • set up and use grids to create a retro flyer
  • duplicate layers across multiple files
  • add and format text
  • export a file ready for online sharing

If you are new to Photoshop and need awesome flyer designs or simple flyers in Photoshop right away, head over to Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. We’ve got many options to explore! 

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